We've all heard that sound engineers are rude, grouchy, and generally uncomfy people to be around, right? Surprise, that's a myth! That said, some are definitely better than other. Below are the top qualities you'll want in your next sound engineer.
1. They Listen: A mix engineer worth their salt will listen. They'll listen to you, they'll listen to the mix, they'll listen for what's there and what isn't. We are, at our best, translators. We translate your intentions into reality through smart real world mix decisions. We will help you build a better finished product that works.
• "I agree we need more bass, but let's try this EQ move instead of turning the track up" • "let's try a reverb throw and a volume ramp here, and tell me your thoughts."
2. They Know: A good engineer will have the knowledge (through study, experience, or both) to listen to you saying, "it's too boomy and bassy", and then know the right mix decision. It's probably to add a gate, or cut a resonating low frequency, instead of turning the bass elements down. That would just leave you with a thin mix!
3. They Care: A great engineer understands we're not just here to make your art sound better, we're here to support you - and we're happy to do it! A surprising amount of clients I've worked really appreciate affirmation. I'll never lie to a client or give them a false sense of success, but I'll absolutely remind someone that creating content is hard work and they've come a long way. Lots of people have ideas, fewer people put them in writing, and even fewer record and release them. You're doing great!
TL;DR: A good engineer will LISTEN to what you and your project before making any suggestions or decisions about what your projects needs!
A good engineer will understand what you're saying, and KNOW how to translate that into the mix A good engineer will show they CARE by always be encouraging and positive, even when they need to be constructive, because we understand this shit is hard.